Proper Discipline: The Benefits to Self Esteem in Children

Proper Discipline Adds Self-Esteem.

The importance of seeing and accepting your child as he/she is can’t be stressed enough in order to foster their self-esteem. There are other factors that contribute to self-esteem in children. The two most important of these factors are discipline and setting limits for your kids.

Children who are not disciplined, who do not have limits, cannot grow up with high self-esteem. They tend to be more dependent and feel that they have less control over their world. Kids, just like adults, are more confident when they feel they have control.

Children will run into disapproval and cruelties in the world. They need the physical and emotional protection of rules and limits for self-esteem.

Use discipline instead of punishment.

Children who are punished with only negative consequences or through negative talk may learn to behave but they often do it with a grudge against parents and with little internal self-esteem.

Discipline works by teaching the child how to behave appropriately. This involves providing your child with the tools they need to make better decisions in the future.

You can discipline your child the following ways:

  • Giving Choices: This allows your child to control their actions and the outcomes. One choice should have a positive outcome while the other has a negative one.
  • Loss of Privilege: Give your child a warning before you take away a preferred item or activity. Have them earn it back.
  • Natural Consequences: These consequences happen with no parental intervention. If a child refuses to eat, he will be hungry. If a child throws a toy, she will break it.
  • Logical Consequences: These are reasonable consequences related to the behavior. For example, if your child is doing something dangerous, you will remove him or her from the situation or remove the dangerous item.

Gear discipline toward the age of your child.

Your child at two needs a different kind of discipline that he/she will at five, ten, and fifteen years of age. In fact, each additional year of age will have you giving up control of your child’s life to your child. Letting your child control his/her life, in a manner suitable to age, is one more way to grow self-esteem.

In addition, school age children transfer more and more allegiance from their family to their peer group each year. By the time your child is a young teenager you will have powerful competition from the peer group. That is the way it will be, like it or not. At this point your prior discipline should lead your teenager to self-control.

Be sure the consequences, or disciplinary actions, of your child’s behavior are appropriate for their age. Timeouts may be effective for a toddler, but less likely to work on a preadolescent.

A young teen also needs independence.

Teenagers rarely need as much independence as they want, but they do need an increasing opportunity to make their own decisions, and yes, even their own mistakes. The less willing you are to grant some independence to your teen, the more likely he or she is to rebel and take that independence anyway.

Establishing discipline and consequences early in life means your teenager will have the skills and the tools to control their behavior and make good decisions. This sense of control over their own lives, and the means to live it responsibly, will help your teenager develop self-esteem and independence.

It is this independence that will help them succeed in adulthood.

Not disciplining your child throughout their life will create a sense of self-entitlement which will lead to poor choices, low self-esteem and a struggle with existing independently in a successful way.

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